Biodiversity Research Institute
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Internship Opportunities
First-hand Experience in Innovative Wildlife Research
A group of interns working at River Point Conservation Area.

First-hand Experience in Innovative Wildlife Research

BRI offers internship opportunities to both students and educators. These internships take a variety of forms and may occur throughout the year. The mission of our intern program is to introduce participants to three key components of BRI’s mission—research, collaboration, and outreach. Our internships are offered in the spirit of mentorship, education, and investigation.

Intern Coordinator: Patrick Keenan

Field Biology


Bird Banding Intern, Field Assistant
Migration Monitoring Project, Falmouth, Maine

Summary: Intern needed for bird migration banding station in Falmouth, Maine. Banding experience preferred but not required. Interest in biological field research and bird migration required. Duties begin mid-April and continue through mid-August (dates may be flexible; depending on the candidate, there may also be possibility of extension through the end of October).

Essential Duties and Responsibilities: Candidate will assist two bird banders in running a migration banding station in spring 2017, and with MAPS banding and nest box checks during summer. Activities will include:

  • Assist as needed at migration banding station for minimum of six hours per day, weather permitting, during spring season (April 25 – June 7). Duties will include extracting birds from mist nets, banding, identifying to species, ageing, and sexing birds, note taking, cleaning and organization of banding station, and transporting supplies and equipment to/from the banding station.
  • Assist as needed with summer monitoring activities (June 7-Aug. 20), including mist net surveys, checking nest boxes, and other activities as assigned.
  • Conduct data entry and data management activities using Microsoft Access, and assist with end of season reporting.
  • Assist as needed in conducting visual/aural censuses of birds in the area of the banding station to accompany mist netting data.
  • Provide bird banding demonstrations to visiting student and community groups, and assist with the coordination, scheduling, and education of group visits to the research site.
  • All other duties as directed or assigned. Motivated candidates may have the opportunity for involvement with resighting color-banded Veeries, nest searching, learning bird tissue sampling methods, conducting point counts, analyzing nocturnal flight call data, writing blog posts, conducting data analyses, or developing scientific manuscripts.

This is anticipated as a full time (32-40 hours per week), seasonal position, beginning April 25 and finishing Aug 20 (begin and end dates are flexible). The station will be open for a minimum of six hours per day, 4-5 days per week during spring, beginning at dawn, weather and other factors permitting. An additional hour of data entry is expected for each day of banding. It is at the discretion of the volunteer intern to work effectively as conditions dictate. Banding and nest box checks will occur on 2-3 days per week during summer, but the total time commitment is expected to be similar to spring, with the difference constituted by additional support for other field projects, ongoing data management tasks, and/or possibly data analysis and report/manuscript development, if the candidate has an interest and aptitude. Note that dates and schedule are flexible but a strong commitment to learning and willingness to contribute to the educational spirit of this project is desired.

Qualifications: Current college-level students or individuals holding a Bachelor’s degree in related field and proven interest in pursuing field biology as a career. Previous mist netting experience is desired but we will provide training to the right candidate. Valid driver’s license and personal vehicle required.

Job Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: Must be capable of assisting lead banders in running a banding station, be willing to learn extraction and safe bird handling techniques, and be able and willing to put the well-being of the birds first. Previous mist netting experience is not necessary but a keen interest in birds, ecology and science, and conservation are a plus. Willingness to contribute to educational and outreach efforts to individuals and groups of varied age and knowledge levels. Ability to work as part of a team. 

Physical Demands: Must be able to carry 50 lbs., walk for several miles per day.

Work Environment: Banding station is located in Falmouth, Maine at River Point Conservation Area. BRI is a nonprofit based in Portland, Maine whose mission is to assess emerging threats to wildlife and ecosystems through collaborative research, and to use scientific findings to advance environmental awareness and inform decision makers. More information is available at BRI’s website:

Compensation: This is an unpaid internship. Free housing may be available for the appropriate candidate.

Contact: Please send a cover letter explaining your specific interests and experiences and a resume to using the subject line: River Point Intern by April 3.

Biodiversity Research Institute